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Poor, lonely Dorothea: Speech and Centrality in Middlemarch

Tara K. Menon will present from her book-in-progress Spoken Words: Direct Speech in Nineteenth-Century British Novels (under contract with Princeton University Press) which combines computational tools with close literary analysis to study direct speech in a wide range of novels published between 1789 and 1901. In this talk, she will present data about speech and character across a large corpus of nineteenth-century novels, as well as a small selection of canonical novels and then focus on what we can learn by looking at conversational networks, particularly in Middlemarch. 

The Shape of the Real and the Problem of Form
In Novel-Poetry: The Shape of the Real and the Problem of Form, forthcoming from Oxford UP, Emily Allen and Dino Felluga examine a counter-tradition for temporality in the nineteenth century, one that is hard for us to see today given how thoroughly it was eclipsed by what they term the “novel-verse.” We have been taught a particular—problematic, they argue—version of time and narrative that was not fully dominant until the nineteenth century. Allen and Felluga propose an alternative, which they seek in, of all places, the verse-novel (especially Don Juan, Aurora Leigh, and Ring and the Book). Underlying Professor Felluga's talk is the implicit question: are there better, more effective ways to think about collective action today?